Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Marshmallows on top
Erin McDowell’s Pumpkin Pie from The Book On Pie with Homemade Toasted Marshmallows!

Are you like me and feel that every season is starting to creep into the last? What I mean is that every holiday season, official or unofficial, seems to be starting earlier and earlier. We’ve all seen those Christmas decorations showing up before Halloween, right? I don’t think this is a bad thing, especially when it comes to seasonal dessert flavors. A good example is pumpkin desserts. It’s a distinct flavor and one that is so distinctly tied to fall that its seasonality will always be at least somewhat baked in, but who doesn’t want to let pumpkin creep into more of their life? With that in mind, whether it’s early September or late February, here are some of my favorite pumpkin desserts to enjoy.

Read More

Fall Spices

When I think of fall flavors, it’s the spices that really set this time of year apart. There is something warm and inviting about baking with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, clove and so many more. Sometimes one spice is featured and other treats have a combination. Pumpkin spice mix may be the most famous blend, but really the possibilities are endless and delicious. Today I have a guide to some of my favorite spices and the recipes that showcase them. I had to start out with cinnamon, because it may just be the official flavor of fall.

Read More

Snacks for Kids

Whether you’re looking for breakfast ideas before the kids head off to the bus stop, back to school treats to pack in their lunch boxes, after school snacks for kids, or a treat to wrap in a care package for your college student, I’ve got ideas for every palate (yes, even the most persnickety will find something here!).

Host Zoe Francois with her sons, Charlie and Henri, taste the squash scones, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.
Tasting homemade squash scones with my sons Charlie and Henri on my new show, Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network.
Read More

8 Delicious Apple Desserts

Host Zoe Francois picks apples at Sweetland Orchard, as seen on Zoe Bakes.

Apple desserts are a staple of fall and winter baking. And if you have the opportunity, go pick your own apples! I happen to be very lucky because I live in Minnesota where the state fruit is the Honeycrisp apple, a delicious variety developed by the University of Minnesota, and where 29 other varieties have been released by the U of M since 1888 when the apple breeding program began.

It’s a wonderful feeling to learn about different types of apples, pick your own and then head home to make some apple desserts with your bounty.

Read More

Cold Desserts For Hot Days

Baked Alaska with raspberry sorbet, no-churn lime ice cream and meringue, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 2.

When the dog days of summer hit I find myself looking forward to cooler weather, fall flavors, and days of baking in the oven without worrying about heating up the house. It’s not that I don’t like summer, but the Minnesota seasons are so rich and distinct that partway through one I look forward to the next. To help live in the moment, I put together this list of some of my favorite summer treats. There’s still plenty of (hot) summer left and these cold desserts are tasty and fun treats to make without worrying about heating up your house (or yourself).

For more cool treats, check out my Ice Cream 101.

Read More